Carmelo Anthony

And-Ones: Nurse, Carmelo, Luxury Tax, First-Round Picks

Former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is considering his options after reportedly taking his name out of the Bucks’ coaching search, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Nurse had interviews this week with the Sixers and Suns, and sources tell Pompey that he’s reviewing the jobs to determine which would be the best fit. A source refused to confirm to Pompey that Philadelphia has made a formal offer.

Pompey points out that Nurse has a long-time working relationship with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, whom he worked with in Houston as head coach of the Rockets’ G League affiliate. Nurse built a reputation for developing talent during that time, winning two G League titles and sending 23 players to the NBA, Pompey adds.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Before announcing his retirement this week, Carmelo Anthony received interest from a “high-level” European team, Marc Stein writes in a Substack column. However, Anthony decided he didn’t want to play in another league after spending 19 years in the NBA.
  • Nine teams finished the season in tax territory, Eric Pincus notes in his updated luxury tax tracker on Sports Business Classroom. The Clippers had the highest team salary at $191,189,228 and will be assessed a $140,302,811 tax bill, per Pincus’ projections. The largest tax payment is $163,153,075 for the Warriors, who had $188,371,492 in salary. The Celtics, Nets, Mavericks, Nuggets, Lakers, Bucks and Suns are the other taxpaying teams. The other 21 franchises will receive about $15MM each through the tax, Pincus tweets.
  • NBA fans are anticipating an active summer trade market, but it could be limited by teams that have reduced their options due to past moves, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hollinger notes that nine teams already owe unprotected future first-round picks, and others have lightly protected first-rounders on the move. Some executives at the draft combine suggested to Hollinger that front offices may become less likely to give up multiple first-rounders in the future, even when star players become available. Hollinger identifies the Hawks, Nets, Mavericks, Warriors, Clippers, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves and Suns as teams that could be considered “stuck.”

And-Ones: Carmelo, Howard, Allen, Flopping

Carmelo Anthony recently announced his retirement after 19 seasons, and he doesn’t regret the decision at all, Chris Herring of Sports Illustrated writes in an in-depth feature.

It’s weird to use the word happy, but I’m happy,” Anthony said. “It took a lot for me to get to that point, and to be able to see it all clearly. But I do.”

As Herring notes, despite plenty of individual and team accolades (with Team USA), Anthony was labeled as one of the top players to have never won an NBA championship. He says he’s “at peace” with that label, according to Herring.

That doesn’t bother me no more; that idea that you’re a loser if you don’t win a championship,” Anthony said. “For me, I’ve won. I won back in 2003, the night I shook David Stern’s hand on that [draft] stage. I made it out of Red Hook. I’ve won at life. The ring is the only thing I didn’t get. It would’ve been a great accomplishment, but I don’t regret it, because I feel like I did everything I could to get it.”

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Dwight Howard, Anthony’s teammate with the Lakers in 2021/22, says he “would love to come back” to the NBA if he finds an opportunity next season, he tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter video link via FanDuel TV). “I would love to finish off my career with an NBA team, hopefully win an NBA championship,” Howard said. The eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year spent this season in Taiwan with the Taoyuan Leopards.
  • Former NBA player Tony Allen has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Allen was one of 18 players charged with allegedly defrauding the NBA’s health and welfare benefit plan by submitting false claims for dental and medical expenses that were never incurred. Allen has repaid the money that he gained and faces up to two years in prison, according to Cole, who notes that two other former players have pleaded guilty in the case and avoided jail time.
  • The NBA’s competition committee is considering adding an in-game penalty for flopping, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. The penalty would be a technical free throw, with a possible trial run set for Summer League in a couple months.

Carmelo Anthony Announces Retirement

Carmelo Anthony has retired from the NBA after 19 seasons, making the announcement on Monday in a video (Twitter link).

The 38-year-old forward was a 10-time All-Star and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team. He ranks ninth on the career scoring list with 28,289 points in 1,260 career games with the Nuggets, Knicks, Thunder, Rockets, Trail Blazers and Lakers.

“Now the time has come for me to say goodbye,” Anthony said in the video. “To the court where I made my name, to the game that gave me purpose and pride.”

Anthony remained unsigned this season after averaging 13.3 PPG in 69 games with L.A. in 2021/22. There was a rumor in February that Kevin Durant and Chris Paul might lobby the Suns to add him as a veteran off the bench, but nothing was ever worked out. He also reportedly drew interest from teams in Taiwan last November, but wasn’t willing to play there.

The Hall of Fame will likely be the next stop for Anthony, who was selected with the third pick by Denver in the 2003 draft after winning a national championship in his lone season at Syracuse. He played eight seasons with the Nuggets before moving on to New York, where he captured the league’s scoring title in 2013.

In addition to his NBA accomplishments, Anthony leaves behind a strong legacy in international competition. He appeared in four Olympics, winning three gold medals and a bronze, and represented Team USA in the World Championship and Americas Championship as well.

Anthony will serve as one of three global ambassadors for this year’s FIBA World Cup.

World Cup Notes: Team USA, Caruso, Carmelo

USA Basketball clinched a spot in the 2023 FIBA World Cup with an 88-77 win over Uruguay on Thursday, as Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes. Longtime NBA guard Langston Galloway played a key role in Team USA’s comeback victory, scoring 11 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to help secure the win.

“Couldn’t be more proud about the group of guys that we have here,” Galloway said. “Just thankful for the opportunity. I’m getting to play and represent with the United States across my chest, and all the guys who have been part of this journey with me. … We accomplished the task at hand, which was qualifying for the World Cup.”

Team USA entered this month’s qualifiers needing to win one of two games to secure one of seven World Cup berths available to teams in the FIBA Americas region. Canada and the U.S. have now locked up two of those spots, but five remain up for grabs heading into the final day of qualifying matches on Sunday.

Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Brazil all have records of either 8-3 or 7-4 in qualifying so far and are battling to claim those five slots available in the FIBA Americas region — one of those six teams will be the odd man out after this weekend’s games and won’t compete in the World Cup later this year.

Here’s more on the World Cup:

  • Joe Vardon of The Athletic takes a closer look at the players and coaches (led by former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen) who did the dirty work of qualifying for a tournament that they won’t actually get to participate in. Steve Kerr will coach a Team USA roster made up of NBA players at the actual World Cup in August and September. “Nobody’s really gonna say, ‘Oh, congrats to so-and-so for doing this for us,'” said former NBA guard John Jenkins, who was part of the U.S. roster during qualifiers. “I don’t do it for recognition from the world. I just do it because I feel an obligation for my country and for a lot of the guys that are gonna play in the World Cup. They are my friends or I’ve played against them for a while.”
  • Within that same story, Vardon provides new context for a viral clip of Kerr telling Bulls guard Alex Caruso, “We’d love to have you” in December. According to Vardon, Kerr was actually talking to Caruso about Team USA’s World Cup roster, rather than trying recruit the veteran guard to the Warriors.
  • Veteran forward Carmelo Anthony, who won three Olympic gold medals with USA Basketball, has been named a global ambassador for this year’s World Cup, according to a FIBA press release. “I’ve proudly represented the USA on the world’s largest stages, and the World Cup is the toughest competition in international basketball,” Anthony said in a statement. “It’s all about striking a perfect balance of personnel, talent and having that great chemistry. I’m looking forward to supporting all the players at the World Cup this year and celebrating the sport on a global scale.” Argentina’s Luis Scola and Spain’s Pau Gasol are also serving as global ambassadors who will help promote the event.

Pacific Notes: Westbrook, Durant, Carmelo, Payton

The Clippers‘ front office met with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, along with Tyronn Lue and his coaching staff, to assess the team’s needs following the trade deadline, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. The group determined that a veteran point guard would be useful, particularly after trading away Reggie Jackson and John Wall, which led to the decision to pursue Russell Westbrook if he became available.

Westbrook signed with the Clippers after a buyout with the Jazz and could debut with his new team Friday night. The 34-year-old guard will try to rehabilitate his image in L.A. after spending a rocky season and a half with the Lakers.

There’s risk involved for both sides in the new arrangement, Youngmisuk notes. The Clippers are playing their best basketball of the season, winning 10 of their last 14 games, and will now try to integrate one of the league’s most polarizing players into their lineup, possibly as a starter. Westbrook, who will be a free agent this summer, faces the possibility of tanking his value even further as he seeks his next contract.

Youngmisuk notes that the Clippers are hoping Westbrook can become a more successful version of Wall, a similar type of player, who was trying to revive his career after years of injuries. Wall was on a minutes limit for much of the season and rarely got to play with Leonard and George at the same time because they were managing injuries of their own.

“Sucked that John didn’t work,” George said, “but what John brought is what we need: A guy that can get up and down the floor and get us some easy baskets in transition.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kevin Durant will likely play his first game with the Suns on March 1 at Charlotte, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. There had been hope that Durant would be ready for Friday’s home game against Oklahoma City or Sunday’s nationally televised contest at Milwaukee, but sources tell Charania that next Wednesday is now the target date. Durant has been sidelined since suffering an MCL sprain on January 8.
  • Recent comments from Durant and Chris Paul about Carmelo Anthony have led to speculation that they may lobby the Suns to sign the 38-year-old forward, according to Jeremy Cluff of The Arizona Republic. Anthony has been out of the league after playing 69 games for the Lakers last season.
  • Gary Payton II told reporters that he wasn’t surprised when he failed his physical with the Warriors, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Payton said he knew his body wasn’t 100% and explained that he took Toradol when he was with the Trail Blazers because “being a competitor, I just wanted to get out there.”

And-Ones: Paul, Anthony, Title Contenders, Bold Predictions, WNBA

Suns guard Chris Paul is disappointed that longtime All-Star Carmelo Anthony remains unsigned, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets.

“Somebody of that caliber, with that ability, with the heart that he has, and the stuff he’s done for the game – he should be able to walk off the court when he’s ready,” Paul said.

Anthony averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 69 games with the Lakers last season.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • How could the Celtics, Bucks, Heat, Nuggets, Clippers and Grizzlies enhance their chances of winning the title? Cole Huff of The Athletic explores that topic, including a recommendation that Memphis should add another perimeter shooter.
  • The Nets will re-sign Kyrie Irving to a two-year contract and Sixers superstar Joel Embiid will demand a trade this summer. Those are some of the bold predictions made by The Ringer’s Michael Pina for 2023.
  • Rhonda Smith-Banchero – mother of top pick and Magic forward Paolo Banchero – played one season for the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs in 2000. Niele Ivey, mother of Pistons lottery pick Jaden Ivey, played four seasons in the WNBA. ESPN’s Jamal Collier takes a closer look at the increasing group of NBA players whose mothers also played ball professionally.

Knicks Notes: Grimes, McBride, Anthony, Hartenstein, Sims, Reddish

Coach Tom Thibodeau’s decision to put Quentin Grimes in the starting lineup and make Miles McBride the first guard off the bench has transformed the Knicks, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. They replaced Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose in the rotation, and they’ve upgraded the perimeter defense amid a three-game winning streak. New York has held opponents to 81, 89 and 102 points during that run.

“I think we’re just playing hard and that’s really it,” Grimes said. “Just playing hard, covering for people’s mistakes, not worrying if someone gets scored on. We’ll get a stop the next time. Right now we’re just playing extremely hard, not worrying about the result, because we know if we play hard, everything will take care of itself.”

The Knicks always expected great things from Grimes, the 25th pick in the 2021 draft, which is why they were reluctant to include him in a proposed trade for Donovan Mitchell, Popper notes. It’s different for McBride, who was a second-round choice last year and saw limited playing time until recently.

“I understood coming out it would be tough,” McBride said. “Playing behind, last year it was Kemba (Walker), D-Rose, Alec Burks. This year it’s still D-Rose, and now Jalen (Brunson). So I just knew it was time to work on my game and my opportunity would come.”

There’s more from New York City:

  • The Knicks don’t appear likely to sign Carmelo Anthony to replace Obi Toppin, who will miss at least two to three weeks with a fibula injury, a source tells Popper. Anthony, who remains unsigned after playing for the Lakers last season, has a good relationship with team president Leon Rose but he doesn’t fit Thibodeau’s emphasis on defense, according to Popper’s source. The team also doesn’t want Anthony to take minutes away from Toppin once he returns.
  • Instead of going small by using RJ Barrett to replace Toppin, Thibodeau paired big men Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims in Friday’s win at Charlotte, per Zach Braziller of The New York Post. It sounds like the arrangement might continue, as Thibodeau said, “I liked the size of Isaiah and Jericho together.”
  • Barrett is offering support to Cam Reddish, his former college teammate, whose minutes were cut drastically in Thibodeau’s rotation shakeup, Braziller adds. “We definitely talk all the time, talk every day,” Barrett said. “That’s my guy, my brother. So I’m keeping his spirits up.”

Anthony, Cousins, Thomas Uninterested In Taiwan League

It doesn’t appear than any other big-name veterans free agents are seriously considering signing with a Taiwanese team, Marc Stein reports in a Substack post.

Dwight Howard signed with Taoyuan Leopards earlier this month, though he’s currently sidelined with a knee injury.

However, three other former All-Stars who have reportedly drawn interest from Taiwanese teams — Carmelo Anthony, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas — have shown no interest in playing there. The trio continue to wait for another NBA opportunity, regardless of any overseas interest, per Stein.

In terms of Cousins, it rebukes a report that he would soon sign with a team in the Taiwan league. Another report a couple of weeks back stated the Tainan TSG GhostHawks were pursuing Anthony. Stein also wrote in a previous post that Taiwanese teams were targeting Thomas.

Among those players, Anthony would appear to have the best chance of eventually signing another NBA deal. He averaged 13.3 points per game last season for the Lakers, and Stein says the opportunity to play a 20th NBA season “holds considerable meaning” for him.

Stein’s Latest: Simmons, Mavs, Lakers, Freedom, I. Thomas

“Contrary to recent reports,” the Mavericks have no interest in trading for Nets swingman Ben Simmons, league sources tell Marc Stein in his latest post at Substack.

A couple of weeks ago, Ian Begley of reported that the Nets had “cursory” trade talks with a Western Conference team, then later said those discussions were about a veteran shooter, and Simmons’ name came up. Begley cautioned that those talks may not have advanced beyond the exploratory stage, but Brooklyn was rumored to be “aggressive” in its pursuit of shooting.

On the heels of Begley’s reports, a Western Conference executive told’s Sean Deveney last week that the Mavericks might be worth watching.

Dallas is a team to watch, Simmons would be an interesting fit next to Luka (Doncic) if the Nets were willing to take back (Tim) Hardaway and (Davis) Bertans. I am not sure how much higher the Mavs could go in terms of an offer but that would definitely be interesting for Luka.”

Stein says the Mavericks may have been mentioned “to try to create some sort of market for Simmons,” who has yet to regain his old form after missing all of last season. Simmons missed his fifth game of 2022/23 Sunday with knee soreness, though he seems confident it won’t be a long-term injury.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • The Lakers have taken a look at some free agents, but Stein gets the sense that they’ll wait until Dennis Schröder and Thomas Bryant return before making any roster changes. Both players have yet to make their season debuts after each had thumb surgery last month, but they’re expected to play on Friday. The Lakers are hopeful Schröder can provide an offensive boost, Stein adds.
  • After Dwight Howard signed a seven-figure deal to join the Taoyuan Leopards, other Taiwanese clubs are looking at veteran NBA free agents, according to Stein, who writes that Enes Freedom and Isaiah Thomas are among the targets.
  • Carmelo Anthony is another veteran being pursued by a Taiwanese team, but “it’s widely presumed” that the 38-year-old “is holding out for another NBA opportunity,” says Stein. Anthony averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds on .441/.375/.830 shooting in 69 games (26.0 minutes) for the Lakers last season.

Taiwanese Team Pursuing Carmelo Anthony

Could Carmelo Anthony follow Dwight Howard‘s footsteps and resume his playing career in Taiwan? The Tainan TSG GhostHawks are hoping to sign Anthony to a contract, RealGM relays via Focus Taiwan.

GhostHawks head coach Liu Meng-chu said the team’s ownership has given the go-ahead to make an offer to Anthony, who hit the free agent market this summer.

Howard signed with the Taoyuan Leopards on Monday.

Anthony, 38, appeared in 69 games with the Lakers last season, averaging 13.3 PPG and 4.2 RPG while coming off the bench in all but three of those games. The 10-time All Star played two seasons with Portland prior to joining Los Angeles.

While there has been plenty of speculation regarding Anthony’s free agency, there have been no known firm offers.

The six-team T1 League will soon start its second pro season.